Tag Archives: Idea Factory

NCG Review – Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online (PS4)

Want to play a MMO, but with the Neptunia CPU’s? Well you’re in luck….sort of! Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is a title that mimics every aspect of what a good MMO has to offer, as well as keeping the Neptunia story telling from previous titles of the series. The only thing though is that it is not a MMO, but a single player title that acts like a MMO.Cyberdimension_JP-(8).png

Story

When jumping into any Neptunia title, your are not supposed to take the story seriously since most titles are for pure entertainment. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is no different. This time you find the CPU’s with some early access codes to test out a beta for an upcoming MMO titled “4 Goddess Online” set in the land of Alsgard. When they first enter the beta they run into Bouquet, a NPC with advance AI, who then tells them they are the chosen Ones that are tasked to save the land from the Demon King Jester by awakening the 4 goddesses.Inspired_customization (2).png

The story is fitting for a Neptunia title, but it is also not for all players, as it’s more comedic and is never serious. One thing I did like was that it has references to other media such as SOA (Sword Art Online), even a character that resembles the main hero of SOA. The story is recommended for any anime or Neptunia fan, and will fulfill the anime game fix, but there is nothing story wise for new players.

Audio

As I made my way through the different dungeons, fields and even the only town, I found myself really enjoying the soundtrack for each spot. It really brought each section to life, as well as made them really stick out. Weather it was the slow soothing music from the town, the epic exploration tune for the volcanic areas, or even the dramatic but yet ready for action tune from the dungeon, I felt like the soundtrack was superb and engaging. This is a highly recommended soundtrack to check out.Battle (9).png

Gameplay

The game play is where the game shines, with its MMO aspects and hack and slash game play, all players will enjoy everything this game has to offer. Customization is a huge and fun part of Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online. Players will find themselves losing hours unlocking new items  to make their character their own and you are never feeling at a lost as you make your way through each battle with the customized character. Grinding to accomplish each quest and not to mention that the engine runs off Unreal 4, makes the game wonderful to look at and any player will notice with the new engine that Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is well polished. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online_20170802151119

Even though the game is a hack and slash the title never gets repetitive, and feels like a new adventure. I really liked how the MMO game play was implemented; it felt like a new style of game play to me. Leveling up never felt more satisfying and new missions always had me wanting more. As I mention in the other categories, this title isn’t for everyone, but it is for the fans, and will have players playing for hours. They also brought back the online play where instead of AI’s taking control of each characters other players take in that place. This is super enjoyable and is one of the main reasons to come back to this title.Cyberdimension_JP-(5).png

Verdict

Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is definitely a title to check out, with its game play that gives it its own identity, and the very addicting grinding system, as well as the magnificent soundtrack, players will feel part of the land of Alsgard. I really recommend anime fans, JRPG fans, and MMO fans to buy this title, as for new player, it is a game you must check out. I give Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online an 8 out of 10, as I know I will come back to this title from days on end.

Score

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NCG Review – Mary Skelter: Nightmares (PSVita)

Details

Title: Mary Skelter: Nightmares
Platform: PlayStation Vita; PlayStation TV
Genre: First-person dungeon RPG
Release Date: September 19, 2017 (NA)/September 22, 2017 (EU)
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International

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Story

Jack and Alice live of life of suffering within the prison walls.  Everyday they are taken by the Marchens and mercilessly tortured yet, somehow, their spirit has not broken.  Alice, however, is  close to the brink of insanity.  When her emotional state becomes unstable, her eyes turn pink.  In order to ease her suffering, Jack offers Alice his blood which always returns her back to normal.  One day, they are rescued by a girl with scissors and pink blood.  She claims Alice is a Blood Maiden which is why she has come to rescue her.

Alice and Jack are saved! They are taken back to a group called Dawn that live in the “Liberated District”.  Although, Dawn’s intentions seem questionable,  Jack and Alice vow to help them, and the other Blood Maidens, figure out how to escape the Prison for good.

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The story is fun to play through because there are so many mysteries you want answers too.  For example, what is Dawn and what are their true intentions? You meet another group called the Order, who seem like a religious cult, but you can’t tell if they are good or bad so you want to continue playing to find out.

Between chapters are story-like cut scenes that tell a fairytale-esque story.   The stories allude to what is happening to the characters in that chapter, or at least one aspect of the mystery that you are trying to solve while playing the game.  While not graphically stimulating, the stories are fun to read.

The highlight of the game is the theme.  At lease for fans who really enjoy Alice in Wonderland/fairy tale themes. Character names are taken straight from the classics, for example: Alice, Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.   Even monsters look like they’ve been plucked from a twisted story book.  In addition to the overall look and feel of the game, there are many story telling elements that keep you intrigued. It’s hard to put the game down when you just want to see what happens next!

Characters (3)

Game Play

Mary Skelter: Nightmares plays as your typical first-person dungeon RPG.  You explore the dungeon and try to get to the next event point so the story will progress. What I really enjoy about the dungeon in Mary Skelter is how interactive the dungeon is.  Character abilities help you open up new areas and you must solve puzzles to unlock more areas.  Maps are massive and you can easily spend a few hours lost in one area. This, like every other dungeon crawler, can get very tedious, especially if you choose to go back to HQ and restore your health and re-stock on items.  You might end up wasting more time and energy getting back to the point you left off at.  Fortunately, there is an auto-walk option so you can set your location and the game will automatically move you.  Although the maps are massive and can feel tedious, there are many secrets and paths for you to find and explore.  Another major plus to the game is that you can walk more than 10 steps without encountering an obnoxious battle.  You do get to explore the dungeon to some length before facing enemies.

Since the “Prison” you are exploring is a living thing, the dungeon has three desires: Hunger, Libido, and Sleep.  Each interaction you have in the dungeon (finding objects, covering an area with a lot of blood, etc.) affects the desires and triggers a “Dungeon Bonus Roulette” round where you can get a buff or bonus.

Dungeons (2)

The  point of exploring the dungeon is to find the Core of the dungeon and destroy it.  There are two types of monsters you will encounter: Marchens and Nightmares.  Marchens are the monsters you encounter during a typical battle.  Nightmares are the big boss of the dungeon.  While you are exploring, a Nightmare will randomly try to pursue you.  Without having destroyed the core of the dungeon, you cannot defeat the Nightmare.  If you encounter the Nightmare without  having destroyed the core, you have a chance to run away since the Nightmare will chase you, or you can to try to knock it down and then run away in case you’re stuck in a corner.  Note: try to stay out of blocked areas if you think a Nightmare is headed your way!  After you destroy the core, you can fight the Nightmare and, of course, as per RPG game play rule number 67 (I just made that up, right now) “you cannot escape the battle until the Nightmare is defeated, so be prepared.”

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Battles are all turn based and fighting options are the RPG game play rule number 26 (yes, I just made up another number) standard . You can attack, use a skill, lick (when the option is available), defend, or escape.

Battle (4)

Blood is a central theme to the game.  When you hit the Marchens with critical hits or target their weakness,  blood will splatter on the Blood Maidens (yes, this is going where you think it’s going). When the blood splatter meter maximizes, the girls will go into a Massacre mode where their stats increase and they gain a new skill. This is where Jack comes in.  He is a support character whose sole responsibility in the party is to keep the Blood Maidens from entering the Blood Skelter, and to help keep them alive.  You do not want the Blood Maidens to go into Skelter Mode because they become OP and can potentially knock out your entire team. The blood splatter from the Marchens can get “corrupted”, so it is up to Jack to use a weapon called a Mary Gun to “purify” the girls by rubbing his blood all over them.  And yes, this does go into a physical touch scene (a little bit later in the game) where being rubbed with Jack’s blood purifies them and it “feels so good”.   Keep in mind, there is a limit to how much blood Jack can produce so you need to find a balance between purification and restoring blood.

Blood Skelter Mode (2)

Jack is a versatile support character.  You can use him to purify the Blood Maidens, or he can guard (take damage from the enemy instead of a Blood Maiden), and use items; he doesn’t necessarily have to be used strictly for purification.  As mentioned earlier, during battle the Blood Maidens can “lick” the blood from one another.  This not only clears the blood meter but will come with HP or SP bonuses, or a buff.  The downside to using “lick” is you don’t get to hit the enemies. But,  the Blood Maidens do start to get pretty shy when this happens…

Battle (9)

Equipping your characters is also pretty basic.  Weapons can be upgraded and reach maximum potential.  At the end of each battle you collect Blood Stones which can be used at Dawn Headquarters to upgrade weapons.

Lastly, Headquarters.  You can rest at headquarters, save, upgrade weapons, and buy items.  In addition to the basics, you get to visit the Blood Maiden’s rooms. And yes, you have to give them things in order to gain their favor because it will affect the outcome and ending of the game.  This is my least favorite part of the game because it feels so contrived.  I think the game itself would have been fine without the obligatory fan service aspect of the game.  But, if fan service is what players always want, fan service is what players will get!

Overall, the dungeons have a nice pace to them.  Once you figure out one aspect of a dungeon, the next becomes slightly more difficult with more elements you’ll have to utilize.

Graphics

Graphics aren’t too impressive, however, I love the themes of each dungeon. But, even though the backgrounds move and the themes are fun, when you’re stuck in the same dungeon for over an hour, everything starts to blend together.

Battle graphics are also nothing to get excited over, either.  You don’t get to watch the girls in action, but rather a customized slash. For example, Sleeping Beauty shoots out daggers during a regular attack.

The monsters look like they’ve been pulled from a twisted fairy tale.  Of course, as per RPG developer laziness, monsters in different areas at different levels are all just re-skinned so you encounter the same creature over and over again, just with different colors.

Battle (10)

Audio

The music sets the tone for each dungeon.  My favorite is definitely the initial City Streets dungeon.  You feel like you’re in a fun house, and rightly so because of the maze-like/ wonderland aspect of the dungeon.

Verdict

Pros:

The dungeons are fun to explore.  There are many secrets to discover and a lot of ways to interact with the dungeon through puzzles and character skills.

What I really enjoy is the overall theme of the game.  I’m a huge sucker for fairy tale/Alice in Wonderland themes so it was easy for me to get into the game.

The story feels basic, but it builds up enough that you want to see what will happen next.

Cons:

Dungeons are extremely large and if you aren’t looking at your map, it is easy to get lost.  The repetitious design and large map area  make dungeon exploring feel monotonous and daunting. Especially if you set the game down for a day or so – you forget where you’re supposed to go.

Overall design is not that impressive.  There is variation to the dungeons, but when you’re in the same dungeon for a while it all becomes the same. If you don’t like getting lost in giant mazes this probably isn’t the game for you.

I find the attempt at fan service to be very forced.  I feel like the story is meant to be a dark tale, however, elements are incorporated into the game just so the game can provide fan service which I feel is completely unnecessary.

Score

Overall, I would rate this title an 8/10. Yeah, the dungeons can get tedious (this is a dungeon crawler, after all), but I think the concept and mysteries are enough to keep players interested in the title.

Mary Skelter: Nightmares Character Spotlight and Other Nightmares

Mary Skelter: Nightmares is right around the corner.  We will see this game coming out September 19th for the PlayStation Vita.   Idea Factory has given us a look at some Nightmares screenshots, plus a character spotlight where we can meet some of the cast members.

JACK
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A timid, yet brave young boy who is the hero of the game. He was imprisoned in the Jail with Alice. With his Mary Gun and his special blood, he’s able to control the Blood Maidens which makes him a vital member of the party.
ALICE
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Jack’s childhood best friend who is also a prisoner of the Jail. She discovers she’s a Blood Maiden after meeting Red Riding Hood. She’s a straightforward girl with a calm demeanor but she loses her cool when Jack is in danger.
RED RIDING HOOD
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A longtime prisoner of the Jail and Blood Maiden who rescues Jack and Alice. She teaches them all about the Blood Maidens and acts as like an older sister to her less experienced teammates.

About Nightmares and Giant Nightmares

Nightmares are the fearsome guardians of the Jail, a different type of enemy tiers above the Marchens. Nightmares patrol the Jail and give relentless real-time chase to Jack and his party. When a Nightmare is nearby, your surroundings darken and only the blood splatter you leave in the dungeon illuminates the way. During this “Murder Hunt” mode, a gauge will appear on the screen that indicates your distance from the Nightmare. Your party cannot defeat the powerful Nightmares right away–until you can face them, you must run!
There are also Giant Nightmares that mercilessly attack Jack’s party in real-time! You can gain the advantage through a series of traps activated by the Blood Maidens’ abilities. The area beneath you will glow red before its attack, so watch out!
This game definitely looks like it will be a lot of fun! Will you pick up this title? Let us know in the comments!

Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online Gameplay #2 Trailer

This October, we get to jump into the MMORPG world inside the world of the Neptunia series. Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online will release October 10 for the PlayStation 4 digitally and physically.  However, Steam players will have to wait until early 2018 to see the title.

In Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online, you’ll hack ‘n’ slash as the Goddesses of Gamindustri playing an online MMORPG. Noire, Vert, and Uni showcase their chosen classes (Knight, Enchanter, and Thief) in the latest trailer!
  • Knight Noire – A powerful class that specializes in close combat to plow through the toughest enemies!
  • Enchanter Vert – Between attacking and healing, she can bestow elemental attributes to give your weapons an extra kick!
  • Thief Uni – With long-ranged pistols and incredible speed, she’s an agile adversary! 

 

NCG Review – Moero Chronicle

Title: Moero Chronicle
Platforms: PlayStation Vita, Steam
Genre: RPG, First Person Dungeon Crawler
Developer: Compile Heart
Publishers: Compile Heart, Sony, Idea Factory

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If you can’t get enough Monster Girls and fan service, then Moero Chronicle is right up your alley. Controversial and perverse, this title will bring you hours of moe moster fun.

Story

All the Monster Girls have gone rogue because of a terrible curse -no human who has gone to the monster girl village has come back alive.  The next hero the human village plans to send over is Io.  Io can still barely get a grasp of his own “desire” let alone talk to a girl without that “desire” going out of control. How will he be able to save the world if he can barely talk to girls?!

Io pairs up with Lillia, his childhood friend, and an otter shaped like a penis (yes, you read that right) named Otton whose hobby is collecting the sacred cloth: panties! Io journeys through Monstopia while collecting some panties and rubbing down some monster girls along the way.

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The story is pretty goofy and the main characters are pretty shallow. I keep wondering why the hell the monster girls, aside from Lillia, seem remotely interested in the main character, but story isn’t meant to be the highlight of the game.  Don’t expect anything in-depth from the main cast.  However, because it’s so silly, you’ll have a good time getting a few laughs at the over-the-top fan service and personalities.

Gameplay

Moero Chronicle is a first-person dungeon crawler.  You navigate through the dungeons and get stopped -many times- by battles that get pretty obnoxious after a while.  However, the game already knows that the battles can get tedious so an “Auto” button was added to speed things along.   As you go through the dungeons you start to collect monster girls and the regular dungeon enemies can become sidekicks for the monster girls.  Each monster girl has her own special abilities, and as you level up she learns new skills.  You can switch your team around as you see fit; you can create your ultimate moe team!  Keep in mind that each girl has her own moe trait, so you can arrange your team for ultimate effect.  Or just keep the type of girls you like around.

Like pretty much every RPG out there, battles are all turn-based.  You have Io on your “team” but he plays the role of support character.  The monster girls battle using their skills and attacks, but Io “stores” his desire and “releases” it on one girl during battle to power up her attack. However, storing his desire has a limit, and if you store too much without releasing it, well, Io needs a cooling off period… probably to go change his pants.  Io can also use items, which makes him useful for healing (if you don’t have a healer) or reviving fallen characters (if you weren’t paying attention to what happened during “Auto” mode).

Boss battles, where you fight the Monster Girls to remove their curse, requires a bit more tactic since they are weak to specific elements.  Your goal is to hit the monster girl’s armor, ultimately disrobe the girls, then “purify them” by touching them in particular places on their bodies to break their curse.  As you hit the girls, your Excitement Gauge fills up and you enter Bumping Scratch mode, where you touch the girls an increase their excitement. If you don’t succeed the monster girl will run away.  When you succeed, you can add them to the team or go back and interact with them at the Inn.  When I played, I used a PS4 controller so it was difficult to control the cursor during Bumping Scratch mode.  Often, I found myself rubbing the air and missing out on my chance to catch them.  Once you get used to using the joysticks, it’s not too difficult but can get pretty frustrating since the pointer (at least for me) tended to wander on its own. I haven’t tried playing the game with a mouse, so this aspect of the game might be a bit easier with more control.

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Outside of the dungeons, you can go back to the Inn and interact with the monster girls.  This includes talking to them when an event is available, giving them gifts, assigning a Pet Pact with an enemy you fought in a dungeon, creating new materials, changing their outfits (which gives them new skills and power based on what you pick) and everyone’s favorite: giving the girls a nice rub down!  Your goal is to gain the favor of the monster girls. Of course, this aspect of the game doesn’t really appeal to me much, but for those into cute anime girls and getting “physical” then it’s a perfect fit.

Graphics

Aside from the art style of all the anime girls, the graphics aren’t noteworthy.  The dungeons feel bland and repetitive. The monsters you battle are pretty hysterical as they are all sex related.  You literally fight a condom monster and a vibrator! Of course, diversity in monsters is also pretty limited so the humor goes away pretty quick.

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Animations is also kept to a minimum.  You don’t get to see your monster girls fighting, but rather an avatar of them at the bottom of the screen.  There are some jiggle physics happening in the boss battles, but otherwise, the overall look and design feel generic.

Verdict

Pros: You can have a lot of fun collecting monster girls and arranging them on your team however you want.  You can pick the type of moe you’re really into or get technical and keep girls with the appropriate skills for the dungeon you’re going through.  There are plenty of girls to choose from so you can have fun just mixing it up.

If you’re into touching, prodding, and poking 2D waifu’s, then this title is also a good pick since you can rub your favorite girls as much as you want.  Almost.  There are also some pretty racy costumes.

Cons: The dungeons get repetitive and boring.  The graphics are bland, and animations are  limited.  There isn’t much depth to the story and can get boring pretty fast.

Score

I’d give the game a 5/10.  It’s a fun pick if you want a few laughs, but otherwise, if you’re not into 2D anime girls, first person dungeon crawlers and bad story lines, you might be better off with another title.